Goff, the team's middle linebacker, will miss the entire season after suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament during practice on Monday. The fourth-year pro and second-year starter banged his right knee with an offensive player on a play in practice. He left practice and put ice on his knee. When Goff was still experiencing issues with the knee yesterday, he was sent to the Hospital for Special Surgery to be examined by team physicians and obtained an MRI, which revealed the seriousness of the injury.
"Jon has worked his tail off," Coughlin said. "He has put himself in a position to be our starting middle backer. He's been an outstanding learner and individual. He's done a great job with the calls and the checks and done all those things throughout the preseason. We saw the knees bang together. For all intents and purposes, the first initial report was that it was a stable knee. And it wasn't that way.
"We re-group and we accept the challenge – look at it as another form of adversity. And on we go."
The Giants were well into formulating their game plan yesterday when they learned that Goff would be unavailable.
"It was the lateness of the hour," Coughlin said. "We didn't find this out until late yesterday afternoon. We had to move fast, we had to think fast, we had to make some decisions there – not under the best of circumstances. Nevertheless, you press on. That's what we're charged with, so here we are.
"The way (the players) presented themselves this morning in the defensive meeting was outstanding. It's not an excuse. You've got a job to do. We've got to go do it. "
Regarding a replacement, Coughlin said, "We'll be looking at a couple of things here today."
Among the candidates are two rookies, Greg Jones and Mark Herzlich. Jones was a sixth-round draft choice from Michigan State while Herzlich was a free agent from Boston College.
"(Jones) has been here all preseason," Coughlin said. "He's a good football player. He's had a good preseason. Sometimes it's time to step it up.
"He's got that force, that inertia. He's always been an outstanding tackler and physical player."
Asked about Herzlich, Coughlin said, "He can play in there, sure."
The Giants could look at outside candidates, but Coughlin insisted he can line up with his current roster.
"We can play the game the way we are, the way our breakdown goes positionally right now," he said.
Goff is the sixth defensive player to suffer a season-ending injury since the start of training camp, joining cornerbacks Terrell Thomas, Bruce Johnson and Brian Witherspoon, rookie defensive tackle Marvin Austin and linebacker Clint Sintim.
In addition, defensive end Osi Umenyiora (arthroscopic knee surgery on Aug. 19) and cornerback Prince Amukamara, the team's first-round draft choice this year (broken bone in his foot on Aug. 6), won't face the Redskins.
Defensive end Justin Tuck won't practice today because of the lingering effects of a burner he suffered against the Jets on Aug. 29, but Coughlin said Tuck "feels better."
Finally, some good news.